Police officer says public using Dominic Cummings as excuse to evade lockdown

Top political aide Dominic Cummings and LBC radio presenter Tom Swarbrick (R); Twitter, Barcroft Med

Top political aide Dominic Cummings and LBC radio presenter Tom Swarbrick (R); Twitter, Barcroft Media via Getty Images - Credit: Archant

A police officer has said that people are using Dominic Cummings as an excuse to evade coronavirus lockdown rules.

The officer, who works in London, told LBC radio that he has found enforcing the law more difficult now that a top government official has broken lockdown rules.

The man - who gave his name as Scott - said he had encountered many people refusing to obey social distancing measures while on patrol recently.

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When he asked them why they refused to observe recent restrictions, they told him it was because 'lockdown was over'. They then said that if Cummings 'can do what he wants' then 'we should be able to too.'

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'As a police officer, I don't know what to respond back to them,' he told presenter Tom Swarbrick.

'We don't speak for the government. We just enforce the rules... It's making our job really difficult.'

Scott went on to say he was dismayed by issuing people with fines for breaching lockdown 'when it seems if you're powerful and wealthy enough you can just do whatever you want.'

Swarbrick said that Cummings' actions 'make a mockery of the whole thing', referring to recently eased lockdown measures.

'You asked what was the lasting effects. I was out today and speaking to a few people today and I've driven around parks and spoken to people in groups of three or more and just politely asked them what they're up to and the response I've got from them is 'oh well, lockdown's over now, isn't it? Why should we bother?'' the officer told Swarbrick.

The pair said most people had chosen to disobey rules out of 'boredom' but later agreed that Cumming's 270-mile trip to County Durham from London was now hampering police efforts to enforce the new rules.

He said: 'When I asked half a dozen people why they say that; why they say lockdown is over and they say, 'well, government can do what they want'.'

'There are three separate groups of people who have said to me today that if Dominic Cummings can do what he wants - two people specifically said him, another the government, by which I automatically assumed he was talking about this - then so we should be able to, too,' he added.

'It just makes our job a lot more difficult... in what is already a difficult task policing a wishy-washy lockdown that we have now.'

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